After a virtual fall, an extended winter break and the cancellation of their season, most of Bowdoin’s men’s hockey team is back on campus and ready to get back on the ice. Bouncing back from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’s impact on their season and the team’s social atmosphere, the team is excited to be reunited once again.
Despite challenges, such as capacity limits on indoor spaces and the harshness of cold the Maine winter, the members of the team are motivated to stay fit and work hard together, whether they are on or off campus.
“One way that we were thinking of working out together is just going outdoors and running in groups of three,” captain Collin Van der Veen ’21, who is living on campus, said in a phone interview with the Orient. “Another idea we have is doing bodyweight circuits over Zoom so that guys can stay in their rooms and do some different stuff rather than just running outside.”
Even though the entirety of the hockey team is not living on campus, they are finding different ways to stay connected in this period of uncertainty.
“We have a lot of groups of people who are living together in different areas this semester, which is really nice,” captain Brad Ingersoll ’21, who is living off campus, said in a Zoom interview with the Orient. “We are trying hard to stay on top of Zoom calls and are also a part of a fantasy hockey league, which helps us stay connected when we’re not together.”
With first-year teammates learning remotely this semester, their experience as student-athletes on the hockey team has been different during COVID-19.
“I’m sure it’s been tough for [the first years] to come in and not be able to meet their teammates [face-to-face] right away and not compete their first year,” Van der Veen said. “However, they’ll definitely not take it for granted and will hopefully have a really great next three years to look forward to.”
Despite the loss of in-person experiences from a virtual semester, the hockey team has found some positive aspects allowing them to learn more about each other’s lives.
“It’s a great way to see some people outside of an athletic venue and to see what guys are doing outside of what their typical moment would be in January and February, whether that’s working or volunteering,” Head Coach Jaime Dumont said in a phone interview with the Orient. “We’re pretty lucky that our guys have opened a lot of their eyes to different things, and we get to see guys with different jobs in different areas and hear about their experiences.”
Looking towards their goals for the 2021-22 season, the team is optimistic, hoping to become better teammates and players.
“The main goal that our team has rallied around has been Black Lives Matter and improving our team’s education on topics like that,” Ingersoll said. “Without the team practices, games and social activities, we can really dive into that without any distractions.”
Excited for the team’s future and proud of their past actions, Dumont is handling the remote athletics with a positive attitude.
“It’s been a challenging year and I think our leadership has done a really good job,” Dumont said. “I really respect the way the guys have handled this and am hoping for brighter days when we can get back on the ice and get back to winning hockey games and enjoying the Watson Arena.”